Update #4: We Continue To Grow / Homemade AI Discussion / What's New For EDEE Veterans?
I really want to thank everyone that has pledged so far. Yesterday, the number of pledges grew by roughly 13%! As I have mentioned before, building an active community is very important for the game. And it looks that is happening.
Speaking of active community, several fans are discussing ideas about what they want to do with custom AI players. I think they are wanting to work together, or at least share ideas. Perhaps you should join the conversation. I think they are trying to hang on a newly formed reddit for Empire Deluxe .
In a couple of weeks there will be more details on customizing the AI and the current AI players. My advice to this group is to first look at the existing AI's when they come out, and just tinker with it. I am sure there is low hanging fruit. Even though the AI is more accessible, it still can be quite involved in getting it to work the way you would like it. When the time comes I will definitely try to work with you. Very exciting stuff.
So what's new for fans of EDEE and EDIE?
In the last update, I posted a caution for all EDIE veteran players, that there will be an adjustment needed when starting to play EDCE. This warning applies to EDEE veterans as well. Since many of you have played EDEE for 15 years, there will need to be some level of adjustment made in how you play and look at the game. If you are aware of this going in, it will be much easier for you to make that adjustment.
There have been some changes to the enhanced unit set. These were described briefly in the Unit Descriptions update, Update #2. If you missed that, you should take a look.
There are several interface commands and concepts that are new, and make the game play faster, reducing the micro management pains that you can feel at times in games. I have found that the best way to play is a combination of using the numeric pad for stepping and the mouse for longer movement, as well as key bindings for you most frequently used commands.
The game now has a “Touch-it move it” paradigm when it comes to setting a movement location. With a unit active, simply clicking on a location will order the unit to begin movement to that location. This saves a great deal of time issuing these types of orders, so when you click on a location, make sure you mean it!.
Wait One Command: This command is useful for passing control of the active unit to the other side of a log jam. It has actually become my favorite command , as it tells the active unit to step back in the unit processing line by one. So many situations come up where you would love to just quickly move a neighboring unit first. Someone make sure I demo this why I do the live stream of the game on Twitch next week.
Activate Host/Activate Child: These commands are useful in the management of transporting situations like Carrier ops and invasion landings. For example, a transport with units comes up to an enemy and wants to attack, but it has movement points left. With the activate child, suddenly one of the transported units is active and ready to attack. Or perhaps a fighter is active on a carrier, but you want to move the carrier out first. Activating host will allow you to move the carrier first, without taking your hands off the keyboard or having to do a right-click-activate.
Graphs: Per-Turn data for City Count, Unit Count, Drain, Battle Intensity and other data points. It is always fun to watch your rise (or fall) from a historical perspective.
Efficiency Calculator: Accessible from the production screen, this dialog answers the question: what efficiency should I improve to in order to produce a unit the as efficient as I want? It will display the number of turns it take to produce a unit for initial and continuing production base on efficiency (and possibly city specialization). Making a selection will set the production to improve efficiency to the specified amount, then begin producing the desired unit. Here is a short, but extremely huge clip:
Improved AI Player API: Now the AI player comes with code examples and is written in C#, making AI development much more accessible. The C# compiler from Microsoft is very professional and free, and it will be what you need to build platform independent C# assemblies.
In the Map Editor you can now place spawn points – This enables you to build maps that can designate desired starting positions without setting up a scenario. Who gets what spawn point is a random thing.
Change Player Position Colors – I have been asked for this feature for ages. If you don't like how someone set the colors for your game? Now you can personalize them. This data is saved for your position within the game.
Works On a Mac: yep. Bill Gates has retired. No more Windows only. And Ubuntu too. One of the main reasons I chose Unity. There is a good potential for mobile ports as well.
Multiple Player Accounts: This may be confusing and feel free to ask questions, but I have added the concept of an account. The account is what tracks your stats and scores. this is NOT an over the Internet thing, but within the game program. You can change your commander name at any time and keep the same account. Want to test strategies and not taint your commander's reputation with false starts and losses? – Now you can run with a separate account. Or perhaps you want to statistically separate human and solitaire play. Use different accounts.
Visual updates and reports – A message report records important game events in list form. These events will have a location context when available. So if you click on an event from this list, you will go to that location. Battles, recon sightings, production events are some of the things reported here. The game will also still have the traditional Combat and Recon reports.
Access To Older Unit Sets - The Basic, Standard and Advanced sets are included. No more switching back to EDIE and a different, older interface. Fall in love with the Advanced Game all over again. It's pretty awesome.
There are plenty more, but I am going to cut it here. As mentioned, I will stream on Twitch next week (not firm but most likely Tuesday, August 8), where a lot of the focus will be the game and the interface. Tomorrow I will move on to Game Rules and Victory Conditions. A good topic to kick back with on a Saturday.